A Happy Feng Shui Chinese New Year
For starters, lets explore what “Feng Shui” means
Feng Shui is a traditional Chinese philosophy and practice that focuses on harmonizing individuals with their environment. The term “Feng Shui” translates to “wind-water” in English and is derived from ancient Chinese concepts related to the arrangement of objects and spaces to achieve balance and harmony. It is often used to create a positive flow of energy (known as “qi” or “chi”) in various spaces, such as homes, offices, and landscapes.
Key principles of Feng Shui include:
- Qi (Chi): Qi is the life force or energy that flows through all living things. In Feng Shui, it’s believed that the arrangement of objects and spaces can affect the flow of qi and influence a person’s well-being.
- Bagua: The bagua is a fundamental tool used in Feng Shui to map out different areas of a space and how they correspond to different aspects of life, such as health, wealth, relationships, and more. The bagua is often represented as an octagonal grid with specific areas labeled and associated with various elements and colors.
- Five Elements: Feng Shui incorporates the concept of five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements are believed to interact with each other and can be used strategically to balance energies within a space.
- Yin and Yang: Yin and yang are complementary forces that represent opposites, such as dark and light, feminine and masculine, and so on. Feng Shui aims to achieve a balance between these opposing forces to create harmony.
- Cures and Enhancements: Feng Shui practitioners often use various cures and enhancements to adjust the energy of a space. These can include the placement of specific objects, colors, materials, and symbols to promote positive energy flow.
- Flow and Arrangement: Feng Shui emphasizes the importance of a clutter-free and well-organized environment to allow for the smooth flow of energy. The arrangement of furniture, objects, and architectural elements is carefully considered to optimize the energy flow.
- Compass School and Form School: There are different schools of Feng Shui practice. The Compass School uses a compass and specific calculations to determine auspicious directions and orientations for various activities. The Form School focuses on the physical forms and features of the environment, considering how natural and man-made features interact.
Feng Shui has been used for centuries to guide the design and layout of spaces in order to promote health, wealth, and overall well-being. While some people approach Feng Shui with a more spiritual or metaphysical perspective, others view it as a practical way to create more harmonious living and working environments. It’s worth noting that there is a wide range of interpretations and practices within the realm of Feng Shui, and beliefs can vary among practitioners.
Celebrating The Year Of The Snake This Chinese New Year!
Celebrations for the Chinese New Year kick off this weekend. And that means everyone from China to Chinatown will be welcoming the Year of the Snake. The most cunning and intelligent of the Chinese zodiac, the snake symbolizes a 2013 full of creative energy and successes.
“The snake represents wisdom, intelligence and self-control,” writes traditional feng shui consultant, Kathryn Weber on her website. “The snake also represents the ability to strike at will, quickly and powerfully. We will see some big changes in the year ahead – many difficult, many wonderful.”
To prepare yourself for the auspicious energies of the new year and ward off negativity, Weber says you should focus on the feng shui of the living room. Central to family life, the living room can shower influence on the other parts of the house.
“Small feng shui changes can ward off a variety of problems from health and illness problems to loss of money and opportunities,” writes Weber. “Handling the negative annual energies means you can focus full on activating the year’s energies — and the Snake has lots to offer in the year ahead!”
The first step is to create a room the family wants to be in. Werber suggests arranging sofas and seats so they face each other, encouraging conversations and relationships. Along these lines, she also advises hanging a group photo from happy times in the living room, a reminder of the family bond.
Adding elements of red and gold to your living room can also boost feng shui. The colors together create a calm atmosphere, with red in particular having extra special benefits. The color is associated with the ‘yang’ of the yin and yang, a symbol of positive energy. A vase of red carnations, or an antique rug with reds could do the trick.
While it may all sound a bit superstitious the Chinese have hailed the practice of feng shui for centuries. As New Year is their most important traditional holiday, there seems no better time to dip a toe into the symbolic practices of their past.
Check the slideshow below for a few of our favorite antique Chinese rugs to help inspire your Year of the Snake!